Manchester: Alex Ferguson has fired a warning to his Manchester United squad that the club will be "dead" if any player becomes more important than him.
The Scot's 25 years in charge have seen many big players leave the club after falling out with the manager, including Jaap Stam and David Beckham.
And Ferguson has recently had to shrug off rumours of a private falling out between him and star striker Wayne Rooney, after the England forward was fined over the festive period for breaking a curfew.
The legendary boss remains as keen as ever to stamp his authority at Old Trafford and believes that a managerial reign as long as his will never be repeated.
“I said it to the directors 15 years ago, maybe more than 15 years ago: You have to remember that the most important person at Manchester United is the manager," the United boss was quoted as saying by the Mirror.
“The minute a footballer becomes more important than the manager, your club is dead - the history of this club goes down the drain. I am the most important man at Manchester United. It has to be that way.”
Ferguson said he had a “great relationship” with the Glazer family, despite the owners' having alienated many supporters.
“They never bother me. They never ask questions, they never phone me and they never interfere with my job. I am in a privileged position,” he said.
Managers have much shorter reigns at clubs in the modern game and the Scot believes that a spell in charge like his own will not be repeated.
He also admitted that he has had to adapt to the ever-changing football landscape during his time in charge at Old Trafford.
“I don’t think anyone else will (stay at a club for 25 years), I’m a phenomenon,” said Ferguson.
“I have certainly mellowed. There’s no question about that. It’s a more fragile human being that I’m dealing with today than 25 years ago,” he added. “They are cocooned by modern ideas, modern parents, modern agents, and their own image at times. It’s a different world for me, so I have to change myself to adapt to that. I have changed because of these things.”